The Top Urban Planning Books of 2022

An annual list of the must-read books related to urban planning and its intersecting fields.

November 28 - James Brasuell

An electric vehicle charger with an American flag sticker is shown plugged into a car.


Electric Vehicles Require Real Progress—Not Lip Service—on Equity

Communities of color are already being left behind as the nation prepares the infrastructure for an electric future.

November 28 - Marqus Cole

Ambulance driving down New York City street


Ambulances vs. Pedestrians

Are the needs of emergency response vehicles inconsistent with nondrivers’ needs for slower, safer streets? Maybe not.

November 21 - Michael Lewyn

View of cars in traffic from behind with visible tailpipe emissions


Comprehensive Transportation Emission Reduction Planning

Many jurisdictions have ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and are developing plans to achieve them. This column discusses the factors that should be considered in this planning process.

November 17 - Todd Litman

"Vote Here" sidewalk sign with American flag


2022 Midterm Election Results for Land Use, Transportation, and the Climate

The most closely watched midterm election since the last midterm election offered voters an opportunity to decide on matters of consequence related to land use, housing, transportation, and the environment.

November 9 - James Brasuell

Close-up of microphone on stand with blurred seating in background


How to Include Community Ideas in Urban Development

Urban planners are obligated to sensible and efficient development, but can also take community ideas into account. By prioritizing concerns and thoughts and keeping the future in mind, planners can develop optimal urban communities.

November 7 - Devin Partida

Small boy riding bike on two-way paved bike trail


What Is Bike Infrastructure?

Safe and comprehensive bike facilities play a crucial role in keeping vulnerable road users safe, promoting biking as an everyday transit mode, and reducing carbon emissions and traffic congestion by encouraging a shift to more multimodal transportation.

October 31 - Diana Ionescu

Big Flat, California


What Is the Clean Water Act?

The primary environmental law to regulate water pollution in the United States, the Clean Water Act, went into effect 50 years ago, on October 18, 1972.

October 30 - James Brasuell

Freeway Interchange Construction


The Culture Clash at State DOTs Over Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Whether state departments of transportation support or oppose a new rule aimed at reining in carbon emissions in transportation reflects an urban-rural, red-blue divide.

October 27 - Angie Schmitt

New York City skyline with construction cranes in foreground


The Right to a Healthy Environment: Not as Healthy as One Might Think

Some state constitutions provide that citizens have the right to a healthy environment. But these seemingly innocuous provisions may lead to counterproductive results.

October 24 - Michael Lewyn

I-94 Freeway in Minneapolis


Driving as a Risk Factor: A New Paradigm

New strategies are needed to achieve ambitious safety goals such as Vision Zero. This requires a paradigm shift, a change in the ways risks are measured and potential safety strategies evaluated.

October 20 - Todd Litman

Protest Crowd


Breaking the Bias on Public Transport

How gender-sensitive data collection can make public transit safer for women.

October 20 - Louise Ribet

Still image of EPCOT city concept from Disney's 1966 promotional film


EPCOT: The Original 'Smart City'

What can today’s futurists learn from Disney’s unrealized utopia?

October 7 - Diana Ionescu

Woonerf street with no curbs and trees in Lodz, Poland


What Is a Woonerf?

The woonerf, a type of road design that encourages multimodal transportation and blends pedestrian and vehicle space, was born as a reaction to the car-centric development that began dominating American and European city planning in the mid-twentieth century.

October 5 - Diana Ionescu

People post for photos in front of a colorful mural in the evening.


Placemaking: Building on the ‘Soul’ of a Place

Placemaking is often mistaken for a form of manufacturing. Every place already has a story to tell—placemaking just brings that story forward.

October 4 - Brian Chambers

Nighttime shot of decorative fountain with horses and Country Club Plaza tower in background


Three Planning Innovations, a Century Later

Three events turning 100 this year have had a long-lasting impact on the shape of American urban design and land use.

October 3 - Diana Ionescu

Rendering of Culdesac Tempe development


What Is a Variance?

Variances allow for development projects to deviate from the zoning code on a case-by-case basis—if the project developer can prove a unique economic or physical hardship.

October 2 - James Brasuell

A crowd of people cross the street with a sign for the entrance of Disneyland in the background


Disneyland Is Too Crowded. Is More Capacity Needed?

Disneyland has a plan to create more supply to meet contemporary demand, a strategy reminiscent of contemporary debates surrounding housing and transportation.

September 29 - James Brasuell

Victorian two-story buildings with retail shops in downtown Nashvile, Tennessee


How Adaptive Retailers Contribute to Positive Urbanization

Retailers must respond to changes to stay successful, and urbanization is one of the major factors influencing changing circumstances. Retail representatives that react with care and thoughtfulness contribute to positive urbanization.

September 29 - Devin Partida



The Hyperloop’s Prospects Dim

The media is coming around to the idea that the hyperloop is not a near-term solution for the country’s transportation woes. It’s too little, too obvious, too late.

September 27 - James Brasuell

Outdoor Dining


Revamped Curb Management Strategies Among Pandemic Changes Likely to Stick in Cities

With so many more people working from home, ordering delivery, and moving around the public realm in new ways, advanced curb management strategies are among the pandemic-era innovations likely to stick long into the future.

September 21 - David Thom

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